Shotgun reloading question


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336A
November 21, 2012, 02:31 PM
I posed this over in the reloading forum as well but thought that it might be better recieved here. This is how I got into reloading. For Christmas one year my late father got me a LEE Load All II, wads, IMR 700x, CCI 209 primers and a 25LBS bag of shot. Like a fool I got rid of the Lee loader as I was far more enamored with rifle reloading. Thankfully for me the Lee Load All is not that expensive to replace and I plan on getting another.

However now that I know more about reloading than I did as a teenager, I'm at a loss on what powder to choose. I plan on loading mostly upland game loads consisting of 1oz to 1 1/8oz of shot in 12ga. I'm also thinking about dabbling with some buckshot loads as well. Anyone know what would be a good powder for both applications? Or I am I going to need to have two powders for this?

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oneounceload
November 21, 2012, 02:58 PM
Before replacing your LLAII with another, look for a used MEC Jr. Infinitely better machine, capable of being adjusted, etc.

What powder depends on what hulls you are using. Stick to either Winchester AA (ONLY those from Winchester). or Remington - any of theirs.

Then go to the reloading sites for Alliant and Hodgdon and find your hulls and shot amount, your primer, and then you see what powder to use.

Shotshell reloading is fairly specific as changing components changes pressures - and that can be a bad thing

rule303
November 21, 2012, 03:35 PM
+1 on getting a MEC. They go cheap used, and are way easier to load a quality shell with. There are several good, versatile shotgun powders that should cover the majority of your needs.

Jason_W
November 21, 2012, 04:08 PM
Before purchasing any components, obtain good load data. Ballistic products Inc. has an impressive selection of all things shotshell reloading.

You can't really safely substitute brands of components like you can with metallic cartridge reloading. apparently, changing so much as the brand of primer or hull type can cause pressure spikes.

oneounceload
November 21, 2012, 04:14 PM
While there are acceptable substitutions for some of the items, it is not a carte blanche scenario, so for the new person, the advice is to follow the recipes exactly

336A
November 21, 2012, 05:35 PM
I'm not exactly new but I'm no old hand at it either. I do know that wads and hulls are the critical elements here. Like rifle primers I find it very difficult to believe that there is huge difference between 209 primers, unless it is a magnum primer that is. I will be buying good load books before starting to be sure. I have decided to go with alliant green dot powder it seems it will do well for upland game loads.

The biggest factor for me right now are the hulls. I'll be using the cheap Remington low base game hulls. But I'm not seeing that hull listed anywhere. The only thing I keep seeing are the STS, Nitro 27 or gun club hulls listed.

DaleCooper51
November 21, 2012, 06:26 PM
The Remington Unibody hulls all load the same. Just follow the STS load data for the game load hulls.

As for primers, the Federal 209A are definitely hotter than the Win 209. I would just find a good published load and go with it. If you have any questions, call the powder company. I have spoken to Alliant more than once about loads.

btg3
November 21, 2012, 08:50 PM
If you haven't already found it, here's link to some load data: http://data.hodgdon.com/shotshell_load.asp

Plenty of info for bird shot, but less for buck shot. There are ways to safely develop custom loads -- just do your homework, be methodical, and don't take chances.

... and I also recommend a MEC Jr.

Jason_W
November 22, 2012, 08:43 AM
For buckshot loading, you can just trade out the birdshot for the same weight of buckshot, if the pellets will fit.

BPI has a dedicated buckshot loading manual. A lot of their loads incorporate gas seals, filler wads, and teflon wraps.

My goal at the moment is to figure out how to make a #0000 buck load that will pattern decently in 12ga. It's a frustrating size.

drsfmd
November 22, 2012, 02:28 PM
+1 to looking for a used MEC, its a much better machine.

Certaindeaf
November 22, 2012, 02:31 PM
Shouldn't this be in the reloading section?

Gun Geezer
November 23, 2012, 06:37 AM
I use Green Dot for that exact shot weight upland loads using AA, Federal, and Remington hulls and other hulls.

You can vary the wad as needed, but you can wind up lots of components trying to find the right volume for various hulls and then being certain you have a load that won't over pressure your gun. You can also increase or decrease powder 1/2 grain or so to get the right volume without notable change in pressure since you are loading upland (ie light) loads anyway.

After 30 years of reloading, I've used Green Dot with no issues.

Green Dot is also a good pistol powder. Very versatile.

Gun Geezer
November 23, 2012, 06:43 AM
The Remington Unibody hulls all load the same. Just follow the STS load data for the game load hulls.

As for primers, the Federal 209A are definitely hotter than the Win 209. I would just find a good published load and go with it. If you have any questions, call the powder company. I have spoken to Alliant more than once about loads.

I agree on the primers. 209A and 209 are different. But it seem that CCI vs Federal vs Winchester vs Whatever brand in a 209 is no different. As far as it's ability to ignite the powder and yield good safe results I have never been able to tell any difference.

The only exception is that Rem primers are typically "harder". My autoloader firing pin has a hard time making them go off. Big dent in the primer but no bang. Put that same shell in the pump and it goes off. So I don't use them unless it is all I can get.

Pete D.
November 23, 2012, 07:07 AM
The low base Remington hulls that you have are the "Gun Club" hulls.
With any luck at all, and a little research, you will be able to find a recipe that crosses hull types and primer types and allows you to use your chosen shot charge and powder and a variety of wads.
The Hodgdon website is a marvelous resource.
+1 about the MEC 600 jr.
Pete

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